As someone who has been happily unmarried to the same person for (hmmphty-hmmph) years, I'm quite comfortable with the concept of multiple anniversaries, some of which are kind of flexible in their exact date. At Tennessee Brew Works, they've always celebrated multiple milestones in their history: the first time they fired up the brewery system, the sale of their first keg, the opening of the taproom, etc. But it's the two-year anniversary of that last event that has prompted them to put up the holiday lights and throw a big old bash.
On Saturday night, Dec. 12 from 6:00-11:00 p.m., Tennessee Brew Works is holding their Holiday Birthday Bash where $40 will grant you admission, an open bar featuring all of TBW's craft beers, celebratory beer releases, a special food/beer pairings menu and folks from The Groove spinning vinyl for your listening pleasure. There will also be raffles throughout the evening for various TBW swag.
So mark your calendar and tell the sitter you might be home a little late. Oh, and be prepared to Uber. Definitely Uber.
Every year, it's a struggle to figure out something new and delicious to bring to Thanksgiving dinner. I like to bring something I know both my vegetarian child and I will eat, as well as something nice that my husband's very sweet aunt will eat. She is allergic to corn and, man, if you think cooking without meat is difficult, try making something without corn, corn starch, corn syrup, high fructose corn syrup, cornmeal and so on. This year, I was mostly without inspiration, so I made macaroni-and-cheese (but, hey, with three cheeses!) and vegetarian Rice Krispie treats, though I noticed after buying all the ingredients that corn syrup is the first ingredient of Marshmallow Fluff (and marshmallows as well). Oops.
So, Bites Nation, what did you take to the Thanksgiving feast? Were there any new dishes at the table that wowed you? What's your favorite Thanksgiving food item? Least favorite? And how many of you had to invoke Adele to keep the peace?
By Jim Ridley
on Thu, Nov 26, 2015 at 7:00 AM
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• Many hotel restaurants will provide Thanksgiving meals to weary travelers (or wary diners seeking to escape cooking at home). At Hutton Hotel's 1808 Grille (1808 West End Ave., 615-340-0012), executive chef Jake Strang ladles out cauliflower soup before laying out entrées such as roasted turkey with sage and sausage stuffing, cranberry-orange relish and herb jus and dry aged bone-in NY strip with roasted marrow butter and balsamic shallots. Cost is $68 per person, and a credit card is required for reservations; there is a $35 fee if you cancel within 24 hours.
• Fire-roasted turkey breast with gravy and cranberry-blood orange garnish and braised turkey legs with pearl onions, turnips, carrots and red wine sauce are the centerpiece of Thanksgiving buffet at celebrity chef Jonathan Waxman's Adele's (1210 McGavock St., 615-988-9700). $42 adults, $15 ages 5-15, gratuity not included; open noon to 8 p.m. Any reservation cancellations must be made 72 hours in advance.
• Sick to death of seasonal fare? At her Chauhan Ale & Masala House (123 12th Ave. N., 615-242-8426), superstar chef Maneet Chauhan plans a special Thanksgiving menu from noon to 8 p.m. — special in this case meaning turkey tikka masala.
• Kiss turkey goodbye altogether at the Indian buffets at Bombay Palace (2912 West End, 615-321-6140), Sitar (116 21st Ave. N., 615-321-8889), Taj (3943 Nolensville Road, 615-750-3490) or their vegetarian counterpart Woodlands (3415 West End, 615-463-3005).
• Or opt for a hearty Italian meal at Buca di Beppo (1722 Galleria Blvd., 615-778-1321) or Maggiano's Little Italy (3106 West End, 615-514-0270) — which will both have turkey as backup just in case.
• The Hermitage Hotel's Capitol Grille (615-345-7116) will offer Thanksgiving brunch from 11 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. $59.50 per adult, $27.50 per child under 12.
• At the other end of the dining spectrum — our end — Cracker Barrel serves up Thanksgiving dinner for $11.99 per person ($6.99 for kids) starting at 11 a.m. Or serve up to six with Thanksgiving takeout for $59.99 — just make sure you give 24 hours' notice.
With as much attention as is paid to the importance of local food sources in the region, there is still a need to bring many of the stakeholders to the same table every now and then to discuss the future of the locavore movement. Jeff Poppen, the Barefoot Farmer, has been a local cheerleader for organic farming and local foods, and he returns as a major sponsor and organizer of the fifth annual Tennessee Local Food Summit. Partnering with TSU, Poppen and the rest of the organizers have planned an entire weekend of conversation, seminars, farm tours and networking opportunities for anyone interested in local food, both consumers and producers.
The event will stretch over three days, from Dec. 4-6, kicking off with workshops and a community meal prepared by local chefs using products from the area. Saturday, Dec. 5, will be a full day of workshops from 8 a.m. until 5 p.m. Specific seminar titles have just been finalized with topics to be covered including:
"Backyard and Community Gardening"
"Business Models and Economic Opportunities"
"Famous Local Chefs Offering Classes and Demonstrations"
"Effects of Agriculture on the Environment"
Puckett's corn cakes complete this meat and three plate.
Thanksgiving menus vary greatly across the country, but dressing (or stuffing) seems to be one of the most universal components. According to reliable sources, my mother makes excellent cornbread dressing, but you won’t hear that from me because I can’t eat the stuff. I just don’t like it. Or stuffing. And it's odd, because I like just about every kind of corny, bready carb.
In fact, I love cornbread in just about every other form I can think of. I like sweet yellow, unsweet white, and corn muffins. I love tamales, polenta cakes and arepas, too; my cornbread love knows no cultural bounds.
I’ve recently been on a corn cake kick. Inspired by a trip to the original Puckett’s Grocery and Restaurant in Leiper’s Fork this past summer, my traditional meals are now served with these yellow disks of goodness. What’s great is that I can make a huge batch and refrigerate or freeze what I don’t need and then re-heat in the oven and they’re as good as fresh-made.
I asked if Puckett’s would mind sharing the recipe and they happily obliged, though they generally make a huge batch, so the measurements are a bit unconventional. Regardless, you can make this batter very easily at home, particularly if you know the consistency you’re looking for, which should be thick enough to spread just slightly after pouring to retain a height of about a quarter-inch. The corn cake is ready to flip when (like with regular pancakes), you can see bubbles on top and that it’s already nearly done. I cook mine on a lightly-oiled electric griddle, but any flat pan will do. Recipe after the jump.
If the prospect of coming up with an interesting holiday menu terrifies you, or if you just can't bear to cook another typical turkey/ham protein platter, perhaps Chef Maneet Chauhan of Chauhan Ale and Masala House could be coming to your rescue. She'll be teaching two sessions of what should prove to be a really entertaining holiday cooking class that includes an exotic five-course menu that you get to sit down and enjoy after class is over.
Chef Chauhan will also be integrating a mixology component and teaching that portion of the class herself. For this reason, the class is a 21+ affair, but each student will take home the recipes and a special gift from the restaurant. Making a new meal from just a recipe is a daunting task, so why not take a trial run so you'll be ready for the big day? (Plus you get to eat the food twice!)
Students will be broken into small groups to prepare the meal with assistance from the kitchen staff, and Chef Chauhan will join for the meal at the end. No pressure.
Classes will be held at Chauhan Ale and Masala House from 11:00 am-2:00 pm on Saturday, Dec. 12 and 19. Tickets are $137.09 apiece and include tax and gratuity, and they're limited for both sessions, so pick your date and buy your spot at the table at the event website today.
Each year, it gets a little more difficult to come up with the year's gift guide. Not because there aren't a lot of great ways to send a tasty bite of Nashville to your friends and family, but because I pretty much have the same recommendations every year. They're solid. But I do have a few new items for the list this year, some of which aren't necessarily edible.
If you prefer your gift-giving to have a charitable component, I love these tea towels from The Nashville Food Project. They also sell aprons and coffee. The folks at Y'allsome have a number of clever designs, but I particularly like the Tennessee flag "banjo" with the bottle. A portion of Y'allsome sales go to programs for foster children. Speaking of children, proceeds from Christie Cookie tins specially-designed by patients benefit the Monroe Carell Jr. Children’s Hospital at Vanderbilt. And for those of us in town, it doesn't get more local than the honey at Glen Leven Farm. This honey is delicious and supports the honeybee sanctuary at the farm.
For those with a sweet tooth, there is no shortage of options. You're certain to find something (or several somethings) among the variety of flavors from Willa's Shortbread. Macarons are also a great little gift (particularly for a hostess gift) and there are several great macaron makers around town, including Le Macaron and Utterly Nashville. Another great hostess gift is the new Goo Buttons from Goo Goo Clusters and any of the candies from Seersucker (those cherry bombs are, well, you know). Though perishable, the mini cheesecakes from Tennessee Cheesecake (which come frozen) are also excellent gifts.
You know you'll be looking for something to do on the day before Thanksgiving, so why not take a distillery tour? The first 25 visitors to Green Brier that day beginning at 11 a.m. will get a free tour, and everyone else will pay just $5 for the rest of the day. The tour includes plenty of behind-the-scenes stories of the history of the operation as well as tastings of some of their product. Additionally, everything in the gift shop will be discounted by 10 percent, so it might be a good time to get a head start on some holiday shopping!
A release today proclaims that Mayor Megan Barry will cut the ribbon before the doors open, and she will be the store's "ceremonial first customer." (What will she buy, we wonder?)
As Bites reported back in December, The new Turnip Truck includes a juice bar, food bars both hot and cold, a bakery with gluten-free goods and a meat department. With 13,000 square feet of retail space, the new store is four times the size of its predecessor.
The new store is at 701 Woodland St. near East Park. That's about two blocks from the old store, which is at 927 Woodland, near Five Points.
The Green Hills restaurant shuffle continues, as Carrabba's Italian Grill is preparing to move to a different spot in the Mall at Green Hills complex: the former Ruby Tuesday's site, currently being rebuilt.
Bites' Nashville Post colleague William Williams reports the news today, citing a Metro Codes Department permit. Venture Construction Co. is handling the work on the former Ruby Tuesday’s space, a job valued at $980,000.
The Green Hills Ruby Tuesday's, which was a happening place in the back in the chain's heyday, closed in February. The location is in the Shops at Green Hills strip, located at 2110 Green Hills Village Drive across the parking lot from the mall. Carrabba's is vacating a space that is adjacent to the mall, but with a separate entrance.